VW's Newest Hot Hatch Gets an R

September 17, 2009

One of the most anticipated cars to be seen at the Frankfurt Auto Show this week was the new, pepped-up Volkswagen Golf, which is being labeled the R. It is taking its place in history among the hot hatch lineup that VW has given us over the years (starting with the original Mark 1 Golf GTI).

The Golf R will be replacing last years Golf R32 and it is bringing many advancements along with it. Starting with the same direct-injected 2.0-liter turbo motor from the current GTI and Audi TT, only this one has been tuned to produce 270 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.  Thats an increase of 20 hp over the R32s heavier and less efficient 3.2-liter V6.

The Golf R will be lighter and more powerful than the car it replaces and it gets the new Audi hydraulic all-wheel-drive system (an option that is currently unavailable from the Golf GTI). Its a good chance that the only transmission available on the R will be the six-speed, twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox (dont hold your breath for a proper manual). All of this technology together will net a claimed 5.5 seconds to 60 mph and a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

It should be the fastest Golf ever but it will still provide an average fuel consumption around 27 miles per gallon.  Plus, it looks down right amazing. The Golf Rs front fascia has been styled much like the new VW Scirocco (which wont be coming to the U.S.) but it keeps the same hot hatch body style that we are all used to seeing from the folks at VW.

To set it apart from the regular Golf, the R features new bumpers and sideskirts, smoked-out headlamps and tail lights, a rear hatch spoiler and two center-mounted exhaust tips (much like the previous R32 models). It also gets bigger five-spoke alloy wheels with wider tires. To keep everything on the pavement, the Golf R gets an updated and stiffer chassis, new springs and dampeners and a bigger brake setup.

On the inside, the Golf R is classic Volkswagen with aluminum and luxurious black leather, sporty R-badged seats and a flat-bottomed (racing style) steering wheel. Navigation and entertainment options have yet to be announced but should be similar to those on the GTI.

Expect the Golf R to arrive in the states early next year with pricing starting in the $30,000 range, which is a steal with the new AWD system and power advancements. It will be available in a three or five door style. Look for the new Golf R to be competing with the Subaru STi and Mitsubishi Evo X, and possibly beating both when it finally arrives. Something the R32 could never seem to get done.

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